Childhood Cancer

Childhood Leukemia

Information on Current Treatments

Treatments for various types of childhood leukemia evolve and improve over time. The treatments described in this chapter were the ones most commonly used when this book was written. You can learn about the newest treatments available by calling the National Cancer Institute (800) 422-6237 and asking for information about childhood AML. This free information, also available online at, explains the disease, state-of-the-art treatments, and ongoing clinical trials. Two versions are available:

  • One for families, which uses simple language and contains no statistics; and
  • One for health professionals, which is technical, thorough, and includes citations to scientific literature.

To learn about current Phase III clinical trials for AML in children or teens, you can visit the National Cancer Institute’s website and type “Acute Myeloid Leukemia” in the “Type/condition” box. Then check the “untreated childhood acute myeloid leukemia” box, and choose Phase III in the “Trial Phase” box. Finally, click the purple “Search” button at the bottom of the page.


I felt strong during my daughter’s six months of treatment for AML, but it hit hard after treatment ended. They told us there was a 50% relapse rate for her type of AML, so I kept doing research and obsessing about relapse. If she said her leg hurt, I’d get really scared because that was her one pre-diagnosis symptom. I think I had PTSD. I felt overwhelmed with worry and stress before each follow-up appointment. My husband was the opposite, which created a lot of stress. But, the other moms in the support group really helped me understand how common and normal those differences were. Thank goodness, those tough feelings have mostly subsided over the six years since treatment, although I still get nervous about her annual oncology checkups. No relapse and doing great!